The world is becoming more inclusive and open in terms of how people see gender and sexuality. That said, this open-mindedness has reached all the way to fiction, as there are some iconic superheroes that have become symbols of the LGBTQ community. As such, let us look at the most important LGBTQ superheroes in both DC and Marvel comics.
Valkyrie became more popular when she made her MCU debut back in Thor: Ragnarok, which was released in 2017. In fact, actress Tessa Thompson herself admitted that she portrayed Valkyrie to be bisexual and was even supposed to have a love interest (as it was hinted that she was in love with her fellow Valkyrie in the flashback battle against Hela).
Of course, the comics support the fact that she is bisexual as Valkyrie was in intimate relationships with women in her 2013 storyline in the Fearless Defenders comic. It doesn’t come as a surprise that she is bisexual because Asgardians don’t have the same kind of gender and sexual norms that humans have. As such, it could be possible that Valkyrie isn’t the only LGBTQ Asgardian in Marvel Comics.
Coagula isn’t the most recognizable comic book character from DC, but she still is pretty important and iconic as an LGBTQ character because she was one of the few characters written by someone who understood what being a member of the LGBTQ community is. That’s because Coagula was created to be a queer transwoman by transwoman writer Rachel Pollack.
Pollack took over the reins of the Doom Patrol comics from Grant Morrison. As such, she included Kate Godwin, AKA Coagula, as one of the characters in the series. As her name suggests, she could coagulate liquids. Although she hasn’t been seen recently, Coagula is still pretty much an icon because of how she was written and created to improve the perception of people toward transwomen.
18. Negasonic Teenage Warhead
Negasonic Teenage Warhead is a mouthful when it comes to her name, and she has always been portrayed as an edge lord goth in all of her different versions in the comics. However, her status as a lesbian has only been hinted at but was never confirmed in the comics, although she was always a teen goth with rebellious tendencies.
However, in Deadpool 2, Negasonic Teenage Warhead was introduced as a lesbian character, considering that the movie introduced her girlfriend named Yukio. In fact, Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Yukio are the first queer couple to appear in a mainstream superhero movie. As to her version in the comics, it might not take too long before Negasonic Teenage Warhead is finally outed as a lesbian.
17. America Chavez
America Chavez is one of the trending superheroes today because she is set to appear in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness. And what MCU fans should also know is that America Chavez is set to become the first lesbian MCU character on screen, considering that she is already an LGBTQ icon among different fans of her Marvel comic book series.
Chavez made her debut in the comics in 2011 in the miniseries called Vengeance. However, because of her powers and her easily cosplayable costume, she became an icon. And after she received her own comic book series in 2017, America Chavez became the first LGBTQ Latin superhero to get a solo series in Marvel history.
Yes, you heard that right. Deadpool, the most iconic mouth in all of Marvel Comics history, is not only bisexual but is also pansexual. Of course, this is something that you can expect from one of the oddest and horniest characters in Marvel. And his movies also helped in terms of improving his status as one of the most vulgar superheroes in the history of comics.
Deadpool’s comic book counterpart has been confirmed by writer Gerry Duggan to be pansexual because he is willing and ready to do it with anything that has a pulse. That means that he is attracted to almost anyone and anything, and that includes all genders. There was even a point where he seemingly had a crush on Spider-Man. Well, this is something that you can easily expect from Deadpool.
15. Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman is the feminine icon when it comes to DC because she is no doubt the most popular woman in DC and probably in all of comic book history. Of course, understanding Wonder Woman’s roots as an Amazon living on the secluded women-only island of Themyscira will allow you to see why she is an LGBTQ icon as well.
In Themyscira, there are no gender norms because all of them are women. As such, it was normal for women to love each other on that island and for them to form structures that resembled families. That means that Wonder Woman herself grew up away from the usual gender norms of human society. While she has been portrayed to have relationships with men, she has also been with women in the comics, as she once had a polyamorous relationship with Olive Byrne.
14. Jackson Hyde
Jackson Hyde started out as Aqualad, the half-Atlantean sidekick of Aquaman himself. However, when Aquaman retired from his duties to focus on ruling Atlantis, Jackson earned the right to carry the Aquaman mantle. And the thing about Aqualad is that he is breaking norms from all sides because he is both queer and black.
Ever since he debuted in DC, Jackson Hyde has always been a favorite among different fans. Of course, being black already makes him an icon among the black communities around the world. But portraying him to be gay makes him even more of an icon because he now represents two minorities in the western market. This makes him one of the most unique characters in all of DC.
13. Kitty Pryde
The name should already be a hint that she is a member of the LGBTQ community. Kidding aside, Kitty Pryde’s sexuality has been a subject of interest among different X-Men fans ever since the 80s because she was in an intimate relationship with Illyana Rasputin and Rachel Summers when they were still very young. However, in 2016, her sexuality was confirmed when Chris Claremont said that he planned for her to be with Rachel Summers.
In 2020, Kitty was finally shown to be bisexual when she kissed a female tattoo artist. As such, Kitty Pride is indeed a part of the LGBTQ. Of course, it is only fitting that she is indeed queer because her live-action counterpart, Elliot (formerly Ellen) Page, is actually queer as well.
12. Alan Scott
Before Hal Jordan was the poster boy for the Green Lantern character, there was Alan Scott, who has been around since the 1940s and is actually the original Green Lantern. But, even though he has been around since the 1940s, it was only in 2012 that he was confirmed to be gay. After all, portraying him to be gay during the earlier decades of the 1900s might not have been a good idea, considering that society wasn’t open to homosexuality back then.
Alan Scott came out as a gay man in DC’s Earth 2 during the New 52 era when the alternate version of the character revealed himself to be gay. However, the mainstream version also came out gay in a 2021 issue as Scott came out to his children Jade and Obsidian. It is worth noting that Obsidian himself, while not the most popular character, is also gay.
We did say that the Asgardians probably don’t have the same kind of sexual and gender norms that human society has, and that means that it probably isn’t surprising for Asgardians to love both men and women alike. In that regard, Loki himself admitted in Young Avengers that Asgardian culture doesn’t share the same concept of sexuality and sexual identity that humans follow. This was followed up by writer Al Ewing confirming that Loki is indeed bisexual.
It doesn’t come as a surprise that Loki is bisexual because, other than the fact that Asgardians don’t follow the same sexual concepts that humans follow, he also takes up a lot of different forms using his magical powers. As such, it probably isn’t beyond him to take up the form of a woman for his own personal benefit whenever it pleases him.
Northstar isn’t necessarily the most popular character in Marvel, but he is one of the most important LGBTQ characters in comic book history because he is one of the first ones to try to break the mold. That’s because he was originally written to be a gay man from the very start when he debuted in 1979, but the problem is that Marvel’s top editors were openly against gay characters in comic books due to how society perceived homosexuality at that time.
However, in 1992, Northstar did indeed admit that he was gay. Since then, he has been openly accepted by X-Men fans as he is one of the first canonically gay characters in all of comic book history. It took him 13 years to openly admit that he was gay even though he was always gay from the start. Then, in 2012, Northstar and his boyfriend Kyle Jinadu had the first depiction of same-sex marriage in the history of mainstream comic books.
Mystique is kind of like Loki in the sense that she can take on many different forms, and that means she can transform into men and women alike. Of course, this allows her to defy gender norms on a daily basis because the different incarnations of Mystique have transformed into men and women alike for her own benefit.
In that regard, Mystique is portrayed to be in a relationship with a woman named Irene Adler, and this relationship helped in shaping her own character as well. Nevertheless, there haven’t been a lot of portrayals of Mystique being lesbian or bisexual, but the chances of her being a member of the LGBTQ community are pretty high, considering that her powers alone allow her to break gender norms.
Those who are unfamiliar with Wiccan met him in the MCU when he debuted in WandaVision as one of the imagined children that Wanda created when she altered reality using her powers. Wiccan is actually Billy, one of the twin boys she gave birth to in the series. And Wiccan, in the comics, went on to become a Young Avenger.
While Wiccan’s future in the MCU might be bleak because he was merely a fabricated character created by Wanda, he has been a fixture in the Young Avengers comics and even has a romantic relationship with Hulkling, an alien belonging to the Kree race. And this same-sex relationship between the characters has inspired the writers to create a comic book series dedicated to both Wiccan and Hulkling.
Iceman has long been one of the favorites among the X-Men because of his cool (pun intended) and powerful abilities. He has been around for a long time, but it has only been recently that he was confirmed to be gay. This happened in 2015 when Jean Grey herself outed Bobby Drake in a manner that may be quite problematic and controversial because she was the one who outed him. In that regard, Bobby never had the chance to come out himself.
While Bobby’s outing may be controversial, that doesn’t take away the fact that he is one of the most high-profile LGBTQ characters in Marvel because Iceman has always been popular among different X-Men fans. And Jean Grey outing Iceman is still historic because it represents how problematic it is for different people to be the ones pulling other people out of the closet.
Constantine is another one of the most popular characters in DC because of his anti-hero personality. However, it was confirmed that John Constantine is actually bisexual when Brian Azzarello portrayed him as such in Ashes & Dust in the City of Angels. Meanwhile, bisexual writer James Tynion IV also portrayed him to be bisexual as Constantine is quite fluid when it comes to who he is in a relationship with, although he is often seen with women.
It was also confirmed in the animated movie Justice League Dark: Apokolips War that Constantine is gay. In what was one of the funniest moments of the film, he had an awkward moment when he told everyone that he once had a relationship with King Shark among all people. This means that Constantine is not only fluid in terms of his sexual preference but also in terms of the species of the person he wants to have a relationship with.
It was never a secret that Kate Kane could be lesbian because she was always written to be a member of the LGBTQ community from the very start. Also known as Batwoman, Kate Kane started out as the daughter of a military man and turned into a military officer herself. That means that she has the training needed from a superhero, but her sexuality has always been something that made it difficult for her to embrace who she really is.
While different writers have had different levels of success with Batwoman, she was always indeed gay, and fans were open enough to accept her from the start. In the New 52, she was portrayed to be in a relationship with police detective Renee Montoya of the GCPD. Her relationship with Montoya is actually written very well. And Batwoman’s portrayal in her animated and live-action versions is also lesbian.
4. Tim Drake/Robin
Tim Drake is the third Robin that Batman took under his wing after Dick Grayson learned to fly on his own and when Jason Todd became Red Hood. However, Tim Drake wasn’t gay when he was first introduced as Robin in the comics because homosexuality wasn’t as openly accepted back then as it is today. But while the different versions of Robin have their own underlying hints of queerness, Tim Drake is the first and only Robin to come out gay.
In one of the recent stories regarding Tim Drake, he actually went on a date with another man as DC basically confirmed that one of the Robins is actually a member of the LGBTQ community. And Tim Drake coming out in a subtle manner became one of the cues for DC writers to find a way to reveal their characters’ sexuality as well.
3. Jonathan Kent
Jonathan Kent is the son of Kal-El and Lois Lane, and that means that he is the son of Superman himself, one of the most iconic comic book superheroes of all time. And it is the very fact that he is the son of one of the true greats in comic book history is what makes him one of the most important LGBTQ superheroes we have in comic book history today.
Yes, the son of Superman is gay and has just recently come out as gay in 2021 when Superman: Son of Kal-El came out in November that year. In the comic book issue, the character came out as bisexual and was in a relationship with another man. As such, being queer makes Jonathan Kent iconic because he doesn’t have to live up to the ultra-macho persona his father is known for.
2 and 1. Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy
Harley Quinn has always been one of the most popular Batman villains of all time because of how her relationship with the Joker has been portrayed to be quite problematic. Harley used to be always by the Joker’s side as his lackey/love interest. But such a relationship was abusive, one-sided, and downright toxic. Nevertheless, there were always hints that she and Poison Ivy had something more than just friendship.
Poison Ivy herself is one of the most popular characters in Batman history because of how unique she is in the sense that she isn’t totally evil and is actually fighting for a good cause, albeit using immoral methods. That said, she was also portrayed to be quite close with Harley Quinn.
In 2015, however, Harley Quinn writers Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti confirmed that Harley and Ivy were indeed in a relationship but a non-monogamous one in the sense that they are free to see other people whenever they want. This confirmation that Harley and Ivy are lesbian cemented their status as two of the highest-profile LGBTQ in the history of DC comics. In fact, fans always knew that they were gay.
The relationship between Harley and Ivy was portrayed in season 2 of the animated HBO Max series Harley Quinn. After portraying them to be best friends throughout the entire series, the writers of the show finally revealed that Harley and Ivy were always in love with one another when they finally got together at the end of season 2, as Quinn stopped her from marrying Kite Man.